Wednesday, August 7, 2013

     A major focus for my first year as Superintendent of Schools is to be able to share information with all stakeholders in a concise and logical format.  In order to provide an understanding of our accomplishments, celebrations, challenges, and shortcomings -- I must be able to speak with credibility, knowledge, and precision.  I hope to involve/indulge myself in all aspects of the district to clearly project transparency and accountability.

     One reality . . . August is here and the summer is moving along rather quickly.  News 9 indicated this morning that the NY State Fair is only 16 days away!  Staff orientation is planned for September 3rd & 4th . . . And, students will return on September 5th.  What's Happening?

     The Soule Road Complex (Middle School & Elementary buildings) is undergoing some major roof replacements; the majority of the stored materials located in the driveway should be removed by the end of next week.  They plan to be moved to the rear of the facility to complete some of the work around the gymnasium.

     The Morgan Road Complex (Elementary School and High School Annex buildings) is also experiencing major roof renovations - as a part of the Phase 1A Building Project.  These buildings are on a similar timeline [as the Soule Road Complex].

     New York State Education Department has recently approved the next phase in the $32 million dollar project, previously approved by the Liverpool residents.  The Phase 1B project will begin with work needed to be completed in many of the building entrances (primarily for safety and security reasons).  The architects are finalizing the drawings and specifications for the Phase 1C portion of the project, and anticipate submitting to SED by Fall 2013.

     All of the district facilities will have inspections completed prior to September 2013; I  will review all buildings for safety and cleanliness.

Important Points Regarding the Common Core / Assessments

  • We know that what the common core is requiring of students is necessary for them to be prepared for the future they will face. We also know that our students' future is entirely different from what we as adults experienced when we graduated high school.
  • The first year of any new standard or assessment is a baseline; this year's assessments were the baseline of this shift in standards for our students and teachers.
  • We have confidence in our teachers and support them as they continue to shift to the new expectations and standards in the common core. We have confidence in our students that, as they continue to experience the core standards, we will see a greater degree of engagement and achievement.
  • We will give our students, teachers and administrators the support they need to succeed.
  • With the support and engagement of parents and community, we will succeed in helping all our students achieve to the maximum of their potential.
  • The new standards are large step forward in expectations. In some cases, students are asked to display mastery of skills and content previously taught two or three grades later in the state curriculum.
  • The new standards were developed in partnership with higher education. These are the standards that two-year, four-year colleges are expecting kids to know and be able to do.
  • The new assessments are assessments against a college- and career-ready standard; that is the result parents and communities expect and we are going to meet them. This is the first step toward new levels of achievement. With greater expectations comes greater achievement for all of our students in all of our schools.
  • The Common Core Learning Standards are now higher, fewer and deeper than the previous standards.
  • Students did not necessarily learn less than they have in the past, and in many cases they have learned more, but this is measuring against a new and higher standard resulting in this new baseline.

Thanks, Mark Potter